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Using Economic Analysis in Evaluating Police Service Projects: The case of an Outsourcing Project

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Abstract

A number of techniques have been developed which enable economic analysis to be incorporated into the evaluation of police service projects. In this paper, the argument for using economic analysis is presented and the techniques discussed. One particular technique, cost-consequences analysis, was applied in our evaluation of a project concerning the outsourcing of the detention officer role in a police force. We set out the case for preferring this approach to competing types of analysis on this occasion.
A cost analysis was carried out and the technical issues associated with it are discussed in the paper, alongside a summary of the data we collected and drew upon. The various consequences of the project were assessed against the objectives set out for it: the level of care to detainees; releasing police officer posts to ‘front-line’ roles; reducing the abstractions of officers from other duties to cover for absences; and generating efficiency savings. The greater diversity of the work force in the detention suites proved to be a further significant consequence. The analyses were integrated into a coherent evaluation of the project, which established its efficiency and effectiveness, but raised questions about equity and sustainability. These findings are significant in themselves; but the efficacy of economic analysis in evaluations and of cost-consequences analysis in this case are also demonstrated.

Citation

(2009). Using Economic Analysis in Evaluating Police Service Projects: The case of an Outsourcing Project

Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2009
Publication Date Jan 1, 2009
Journal The Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services
Publisher URL http://www.cipfa.org/policy-and-guidance/the-journal-of-finance-and-management-in-public-services/past-issues

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